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Refugee Crisis in Europe

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Conflict, oppression, and persecution have resulted in the migration of millions. Currently, there are over 19 million refugees worldwide, with an estimated 42,500 newly displaced every day. In 2015 and 2016, the UN estimates that 850,000 refugees are expected to reach Europe. Over fifty percent of those making the journey across the Mediterranean to European nations are from Syria, a country from which four million have been displaced by years of war, and has hosted its own sizeable refugee population, including Iraqis, Palestinians, and Kurds. UNHCR’s budget is currently insufficient to provide for refugees crammed into camps bordering war-torn nations, and the organization has stated repeatedly that wealthy countries are not doing enough to shoulder their responsibility to the world’s refugees. In Europe, xenophobia and the rise of nationalist politicians have combined to create reluctance in accepting these migrants, and EU refugee policy has resulted in a lopsided burden between nations. Recently, harrowing images of drowned refugees on the shores of Turkey, and news of Syrians suffocating in the back of a cargo truck in Austria, have caused many Europeans to demand their countries do more to help refugees.